One hand cannot applaud alone.
When my parents sold their grocery store in New Orleans they searched for property close to the Melancon family. They bought a house in Jefferson Parish that backed up to and was connected with the property owned by his brother and sister. My Dad later built another house behind our house so his other sister and her family could live close to the families. In the center of the compound my grandfather had a one bedroom, one bath house. He ate his meals with a different family each night.
All fences were removed and family members could easily walk from one house to the next to visit. Chain link fences separated the property of neighbors but everyone could communicate with one another while they were in their backyards. I came from a small family being the only child but felt like I had a huge family.
No one had air conditioned houses so the doors and windows were open to allow the attic fans to blow in cool breeze. No one in our neighborhood had televisions so when we did get one my dad placed it in the open window facing the back yard. Everyone brought chairs and would gather to watch the few broadcasts of early television.
When everyone started getting their own television sets and their houses got air conditioned they all stopped coming over. My younger grandson said “Pops if you did not have air conditioning or television did you have a house to live in?” When one wood fence went up everyone followed suit and neighbors could not easily talk with one another across the fence. This kind of shift happened throughout the country. Everyone became self-sufficient and detached.
The reality is we are all connected and every action we take or purchase we make has a major influence throughout the world. Look what happened when Apple introduced the iPhone. It started with one person in the family having one and then everyone in the family had to have one. Now, when a new model is introduced people around the world stand in line for hours to be the first to have the new phone.
This same kind of influence happens to change others’ way of thinking. When we focus on the positive things that are happening in our lives and share these stories with others we can shift any negative thing. It happens when we catch people doing something right and we bring it to their attention. It happens without a word being spoken when someone observes a kindness we are doing for someone.
In spite of all of the fences built around our houses that have separated neighbors we are not alone, we are connected. This theory is supported by many spiritual teachers.
The following is from Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.
“The inspiration for the title of this book came from a Bible prophecy that seems more applicable now than at any other time in human history. It occurs in both the old and the New Testament and speaks of the collapse of the existing world order and the arising of a “new heaven and a new earth.”
He further states “But all things in existence, from microbes to human beings to galaxies, are not really separate things or entities, but form part of a web of interconnected multidimensional processes.”
We have observed several of our friends who truly live out the message of connectedness. They take genuine interest in everyone they encounter in their routine activities and extend this graciousness far beyond their inner circle of family and friends. They extend their kindness and acceptance to all from the hired help to the owners of business. They treat the young, the old, all races and nationalities the same. It is a pleasure to watch people light up when they walk into a place just to have a cup of coffee. These people know they are interested in them personally. What a gift to the world!